ACLU of Missouri | St. Louis Public Radio

ACLU of Missouri

Russell Bucklew's advocates drop off signatures collected to stop his execution to the Governor's Office on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2019.
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri is scheduled to execute Russell Bucklew by injection on Tuesday, but his advocates want Gov. Mike Parson to stop it because they say a medical condition would make him endure needless pain. 

The Cape Girardeau man was convicted of murder, rape and kidnapping in 1997. His lawyers and advocates are not challenging his guilt, but instead say Bucklew’s rare medical condition would cause him to suffer cruel and unusual punishment. 

Supporters of a referendum on House Bill 126 protest in downtown St. Louis on Friday afternoon.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 11:46 a.m. Aug. 23 with a comment from Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft

Opponents of Missouri’s eight-week abortion ban have dropped their efforts to gather the needed 100,000 signatures to place a referendum on the November 2020 ballot. They claim Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft did not give them enough time to do so by Wednesday, when the law will take effect.

The abortion-rights coalition No Bans On Choice and the ACLU of Missouri have instead turned their attention to making sure state officials cannot block future referendums. On Thursday, they filed a lawsuit against Ashcroft, a Republican, alleging that the laws that allowed him to delay releasing the referendum’s language violate the state’s constitution.

St. Louis treasurer Tishaura Jones (left) directed a town hall discussion with Democratic presidential candidate Kirstin Gillibrand. AUGUST 18, 2019.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democratic presidential candidate, is promising to fight a Missouri law that bans most abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy. 

At a town hall meeting in St. Louis on Sunday, Gillibrand laid out her reproductive health care plan to Missouri politicians, voters, medical providers and patients. Her plan focuses on increasing federal protections for all forms of reproductive health care. 

File photo | Thomas Hawk | Flickr

The ACLU and the MacArthur Justice Center of Missouri are asking a judge to order the expedited treatment of prison inmates infected with the hepatitis C virus. 

They’ve filed a class-action lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Corrections and its private medical provider, Corizon, but that may not get started for another year. 

Abortion rights activists on Thursday gathered near the Gateway Arch to protest the potential closure of Missouri's only abortion provider. They marched to the Wainwright State Office Building, where some activists went inside. May 30, 2019
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court won’t reconsider an appeals court decision that effectively delays the ACLU of Missouri from gathering signatures to overturn Missouri’s recently passed eight-week abortion ban.

It’s a move that places the ACLU of Missouri’s referendum in serious jeopardy, because there may not be enough time to gather roughly 100,000 signatures to spark a 2020 election.

Sticky notes left by protesters outside Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's office.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on 3:35 p.m. on Wednesday with rejection of transfer.

A Missouri appeals court ruled Monday that a referendum aimed at overturning a ban on abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy can proceed.

The court reversed Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s rejection of the referendum.

While the ruling revives an effort from the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri to scrap the abortion ban, supporters won’t have a lot of time to gather roughly 100,000 signatures. And there could be more legal fights to come about whether a provision that goes into effect right away will derail the referendum in the future.

Sticky notes left by protesters outside Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's office.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri appeals court ruled Monday that a referendum aimed at overturning a ban on abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy can proceed.

The court overturned Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s rejection of the ballot initiative.

While the ruling revives an effort from the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri to scrap the abortion ban, supporters won’t have a lot of time to gather roughly 100,000 signatures. And there could be more legal fights to come about whether a provision that goes into effect right away will derail the referendum in the future.

Sticky notes left by protesters outside Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's office.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri appeals court ruled Monday that a referendum aimed at overturning a ban on abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy can proceed.

The court overturned Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s rejection of the ballot initiative.

While the ruling revives an effort from the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri to scrap the abortion ban, supporters won’t have a lot of time to gather roughly 100,000 signatures. And there could be more legal fights to come about whether a provision that goes into effect right away will derail the referendum in the future.

Sen. Karla May, D-St. Louis, reacts to the annual Vehicle Stops Report at Second Presbyterian Church on June 3, 2019.  She wants Missouri law enforcement officers to be held accountable for discriminatory practices during traffic stops against blacks.
File photo I Andrea Henderson | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 10:30 a.m., June 10, with comment from the Missouri Sheriffs' Association – In response to the Missouri Attorney General’s Vehicle Stops Report released on Friday, local groups and politicians are calling for accountability from Missouri law enforcement officers.

Leaders reacted to the release of the annual report on Monday morning at Second Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, just three days after the report cited that black motorists of the driving-age population are stopped and searched at far higher rates than any other race.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

The ACLU of Missouri and the state’s public defender system have reached a deal meant to ensure that low-income defendants are properly represented when they go to court.

The agreement made public on Monday sets maximum caseloads for the state’s 500-plus public defenders, and allows them to turn down cases to stay within a time limit that is based on how much work should be spent defending different types of crimes. It also makes it clear that defendants must be screened quickly to see if they qualify for a public defender.

According to Washington University's Center for Social Development's latest study, predominantly black residents and low-income communities in the region face barriers in casting their ballots.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Voters in the Ferguson-Florissant School District will select their school board members much differently on April 2.

The new method, called cumulative voting, settles a Voting Rights Act lawsuit filed in 2014 by the ACLU of Missouri and the NAACP. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case in January.

A six-month joint-investigation by the St. Louis American and Type Investigations revealed that the center is operating under a privacy policy that the city acknowledged to community leaders was essentially a rough draft.
St. Louis American

In a dimly lit room that resembles a college lecture hall, some five St. Louis police officers stare at a wall of screens.

They watch through cameras perched on stop lights or lamp posts as people cross intersections or convene at parks. Using controls at their computers, the officers can zoom in to identify people’s faces more than a block away from the cameras.

In this room, the officers monitor about 600 surveillance cameras citywide, as well as license plate reader cameras, sensors that can detect and locate gunfire, and three surveillance trailers that move throughout the city.

Beverly Nance and Mary Walsh pose for a portrait at their home in Shrewsbury on August 28, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A district judge dismissed a lawsuit against a Sunset Hills retirement community today.

Mary Walsh and Beverly Nance took Friendship Village to federal court for sex discrimination in July, after the senior-living facility denied the same-sex couple’s housing application. Friendship Village cited its ‘Cohabitation Policy’ as the reason for the rejection. The policy defines marriage as between one man and one woman, as “marriage is understood in the Bible.”

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Criminal-justice reform advocates and public defenders are calling on the St. Louis circuit court to reduce its use of monitoring systems that require defendants on bond to pay hundreds of dollars in fees to a private company while awaiting trial.

In a six-page letter sent Thursday to judges of the 22nd Circuit Court, advocates argue that forcing people to pay for court-ordered ankle monitors and check-ins as a condition of their release from jail is an unconstitutional and unnecessary financial burden. Payments are made to Eastern Missouri Alternative Sentencing Services – commonly called EMASS – a private company based in St. Charles.

Maplewood on June 7, 2017
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The City of Maplewood may soon overhaul a controversial public-nuisance law that has been challenged by two recent lawsuits.

Maplewood’s City Council introduced an ordinance Tuesday that would add protections keeping victims of crimes from eviction and exclude calls to police from counting as a nuisance against residents.

Beverly Nance and Mary Walsh pose for a portrait at their home in Shrewsbury on Aug. 28, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

After Mary Walsh and Beverly Nance were married in 2009, they thought their right to live together as a couple was secure.

Now the two women are at the center of a landmark legal case against a St. Louis County retirement community. The same-sex couple was denied housing at Friendship Village in 2016 on the basis of a “Cohabitation Policy” that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, “as marriage is understood in the Bible.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 26, 2009 - Upset at the official reception given to an ACLU report about conditions at the St. Louis Jail and Workhouse, one of the corrections officers who was quoted anonymously in the report came forward Thursday.

Darious Young, who was fired from his job as a shift commander at the Workhouse last year, recalled at a news conference how in 2004, he had submitted a report saying that overcrowding at the facility was "a public safety nightmare that was just waiting to happen."